Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
"Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht" (original title)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Horror  |  17 January 1979 (France)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 22,131 users  
Reviews: 162 user | 147 critic

Jonathan and Lucy live in Wismar and the Count wants a house there. Varna is a port on the Black Sea, close to Dracula's castle.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roland Topor ...
Walter Ladengast ...
Jan Groth ...
Carsten Bodinus ...
Martje Grohmann ...
Rijk de Gooyer ...
Town official (as Ryk de Gooyer)
Clemens Scheitz ...
Lo van Hensbergen ...
Harbormaster's Assistent
John Leddy ...
Margiet van Hartingsveld ...
Tim Beekman ...


Jonathan Harker is sent away to Count Dracula's castle to sell him a house in Varna, where Jonathan lives. But Count Dracula is a vampire, an undead ghoul living off of men's blood. Inspired by a photograph of Lucy Harker, Jonathan's wife, Dracula moves to Varna, bringing with him death and plague... An unusually contemplative version of Dracula, in which the vampire bears the curse of not being able to get old and die. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dracula | vampire | castle | blood | plague | See All (78) »


Comedy | Horror


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

17 January 1979 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Nosferatu the Vampyre  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (theatrical)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Klaus Kinski had to spend approximately four hours per day in make-up. Fresh latex ear pieces had to be poured for each day of shooting because they were destroyed at removal. Kinski, notorious for his violent daily temper-tantrums, had a very good relationship to Japanese make-up artist Reiko Kruk and was exceedingly patient and well-behaved during make-up. See more »


The rooftops are seen to be covered with TV antennae in the final shot of the town. See more »


Warden: The patient that came in yesterday is having a fit.
Van Helsing: Which one?
Warden: The one that bit the cow.
See more »


Featured in The South Bank Show: Werner Herzog (1982) See more »


Der Ruf der Rohrflöte
(Featured in German and American film versions)
Performed by Popol Vuh
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A pretty fine go at "Dracula"
17 November 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This Herzog adaptation of the Dracula story, filtered through the memory in particular of Murnau's "Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horrors", is largely a successful film. It is great in parts and in aspects, but doesn't quite amount to a whole that approaches superlative status. Klaus Kinski is rather good, but not quite spellbinding, in the much-donned cape of the old Count. He is not quite up to the vastly contrasting interpretations I have seen - Schreck and Lugosi. Isabelle Adjani? Hers is far from a terrible performance, as one commentator has said; she is, indeed, reasonable in a role often lacking embellishment in other adaptations. Of course, her striking good looks are certainly far from unwelcome. The chap playing Renfield (the madman, so amusingly and vividly portrayed by Dwight Frye in the 1931 Universal "Dracula") is effective in portraying an outright giggling madman - his laugh is one of *the* most absurd and insane sounds I have heard in film...! The use of music is wonderful, as is Herzog's visual direction - the plague scenes leave quite an impression on the mind, and most scenes are accorded impressive backdrops and appropriate visual textures. Popol Vuh's musical textures are dreamily beguiling, setting just the right tone for Herzog's imagery. The film's downside has to be in the dramatics really; the dialogue and subsequent delivery of, are far from great, perhaps owing to the fact that most of the performers' native tongues are not English, and here they have to speak just that language. There is never quite enough dramatic tension induced by the script or the acting; at times the Renfield chap and Kinski are compelling, but only fitfully.

Having said all this, it is a fine rendition on film of a rather old and, frankly, enduring story. Herzog must take the credit for its effective atmosphere, but perhaps also the blame for the lacking dramatics. Certainly an enjoyable, generally impressive film.

Rating:- ****/*****

17 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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